Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hunger: A Meditation

So you, by the help of your God, return,
hold fast to love and justice,
and wait continually for your God.

After railing against the unfaithful Israelites -- and by extension all of us who have been unfaithful to God, we are told this. God lets them off easy and also puts tough burdens on them (us). These are not so much rules and impossible formulas to salvation or righteousness. "Hold fast," God says. That is all. Cling like the dependent children we are. But can we allow ourselves such child-like holding?

And to what are we to hold fast to? Love and justice. Oh how easy and how hard! "God is love and God is just," we may well believe (though that faith waxes and wanes). Can we trust His love? Can we wait for His justice? We are commanded "and wait continually for your God."

and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
We are not to live for ourselves, but for Him who died for all. But my self is all I can control, all I can trust to appreciate my sacrifices. Who said anything about being appreciated? We do not need appreciation or acknowledgement or anything but the Love of God, which has already been and is continually given to us.

Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.

Oh how I worry, Lord! About my car, my house, my family. About food (despite my gross obesity!). And labor is not only for the money to by food and keep safe and well that we need to live. Work itself is good for my soul and mind and body.

But all these things pass away. They die.

How many hungers I have, O Lord! How I wish for them to die, satiated by your living bread!

How hard it is to work for what we cannot see, for what we know -- even with faith as tiny as mine -- what is the better part. Often we cannot tell the difference between hunger and craving. And I wonder why I try to put myself in charge of such knowledge. Even at this age, I need a Father who can guide me to understand the difference and teach me in a place deeper than my mind and stronger than my body.

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